IN lawmaker proposes bill to beef up penalties for stop arm violations

One Indiana lawmaker is working on legislation to beef up penalties for drivers who ignore school bus stop arms.

Posted: Dec. 2, 2018 4:43 PM
Updated: Dec. 2, 2018 8:00 PM

WASHINGTON, Ind. (WTHI) - One Indiana lawmaker is working on legislation to beef up penalties for drivers who ignore school bus stop arms.

News 10 told you about State Senator Eric Bassler's idea to move the entire state to central time and how he says it would mean more daylight for students getting on the bus in the morning.

The senator is also working on another bill he says will hold drivers more accountable.

Right now, Bassler says it is difficult to enforce stop arm violations because police do not always see it when they happen.

This legislation would give school bus drivers, school bus monitors and school crossing guards the authority to file a sworn affidavit stating they saw a driver ignore a stopped school bus. The affidavit would give police probable cause to summon someone to court.

Bassler says, "The summons still does not say that the person is guilty. The person would then just go to court. They would have their day in court and before that judge evidence would be presented and at that time then the person would either be found guilty or not guilty."

The bill would also make all stop arm violations misdemeanors instead of just traffic infractions. Senator Bassler says he has yet to determine how stiff the penalties would be but is considering language that would mean a driver would have their license suspended.

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